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The Partisan Preacher’s Complaint: Franklin Graham Has No Grounds To Whine About IRS

The ongoing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of Tea Party groups took another twist yesterday when evangelist Franklin Graham complained that the ministry founded by this father, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), was also investigated by the tax agency. Read more

Memo To The Religious Right: You Don’t Need The Government To Tell You When To Pray

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, and if you want to pray, by all means have at it.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: You can pray (or not) as dictated by your very own conscience. You don’t need any branch of the government to tell you what to do when it comes to religion. Read more

Bad Breakfast: Do Congressional Chaplains Plan To Spend Inauguration Morning With Religious And Political Extremists?

Washington is abuzz with preparations for Monday’s inauguration. A number of events, private and public, are taking place.

Among them is something called the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast (PIPB), which takes place Monday morning at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Despite its name, this is not an official inaugural event. It’s sponsored by a variety of fundamentalist Christian groups and “messianic” Jews. Featured guests include TV preacher Pat Robertson, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Joseph Farah, founder of the website WorldNetDaily. Read more

In The Depths Of The Summit: What I Learned At This Year’s ‘Values Voter’ Confab

I spent Friday and Saturday observing the Values Voter Summit (VVS), an annual Religious Right gathering in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, the Heritage Foundation, Liberty University and other groups.

I attend every year. It’s educational! Here are some things I learned this year: Read more

Birth Control Battle: Obama Must Stand Firm Against Sectarian Lobbies

Who gets to decide how you run your life: you or a small group of aggressive religious leaders?

In a nation that separates religion and government, the answer ought to be easy. Apparently it’s not. Read more

Misplaced Trust: House Set To Vote On ‘In God We Trust’ Resolution

As Americans United notes in a press release issued today, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a resolution, H Con. Res. 13, which would reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States and encourage the display of that motto in public spaces.  Read more

Good Question, Not-So-Good Answer: Obama’s Muddled Response On ‘Faith-Based’ Job Bias

With all of the talk about the U.S. debt ceiling, it’s sometimes easy to forget that other issues are out there. Even as he attempts to strike a deal to keep America solvent, President Barack Obama continues to address other topics. Read more

A Bad Deal: Budget Agreement Advances School Vouchers, Trashes Church-State Separation

The 11th-hour budget deal that averted a shutdown of the federal government has been the talk of the nation. Pundits are going over the agreement with a microscope, listing the winners and losers.

We already know one loser: religious liberty. Read more

D.C. School Vouchers: President Obama Urges House To Vote No

In a few hours, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on whether to reauthorize a taxpayer-funded school voucher program.

Americans United has been working diligently to put a stop to H.R. 471, a measure introduced by House Speaker John Boehner that would allot $100 million over the next five years to restart and expand the failed voucher “experiment” in the District of Columbia. Read more

Skipping Breakfast: Why Obama Should Insist On A Different Prayer Circle

President Barack Obama gave his personal testimony yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Did you see it? What did you think?

I watched the address on a live stream from the White House website. It’s still there if you want to take it in for yourself.

Obama’s message was deeply personal and overtly Christian. I guess he’s been falsely accused of being a Muslim so much that he feels obligated to make that point pretty bluntly one more time. Read more

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